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Bishop Accused Again

Albany diocese remains shattered

March 26, 2021  0

News reporter: "Hubbard faced accusations of sexual misconduct himself in 2004, which he denied."

The retired bishop of Albany, New York will be investigated under Vos Estis, the pope's new procedure for bishops accused of sex abuse.

Bishop Howard Hubbard is now being accused of sexual assault dating back to 1977. The anonymous plaintiff who filed the suit last week was 11 years old at the time of the alleged assault.

Clinic spokesman: "The trauma of sexual abuse has profound impact on a child's development."

This becomes the seventh lawsuit against Hubbard filed under New York's Child Victims Act, which opened a window to file cases for those whose statute of limitations expired. Hubbard maintains his innocence and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Reporter: "The diocese hired a high-powered federal prosecutor whose investigation exonerated him."

Hubbard was bishop of Albany from 1977 to 2014. He gained a reputation of being a liberal bishop, focusing on anti-poverty efforts and social justice issues. One of his Albany priests, in the 1990s, accused Hubbard to The Wanderer newspaper of creating a pastoral plan from which he could appeal to those who wanted married priests, women priests and homosexual priests.

Reporter: "At that time, Mercure was sent to a hospital in Pennsylvania for therapy. Documents state after promising Bp. Howard Hubbard he'd stay celibate, Mercure was allowed back into the diocese."

But the Albany diocese has had deep troubles since the 1960s. Reports indicate a culture of silence and cover-up has shielded predator priests for decades. Hubbard's predecessor Bp. Edwin Broderick, who led the diocese from 1969 to 1976, was known for accepting homosexual seminarians and promoting them as priests. Under Hubbard, homosexual infiltration became pervasive.

Bishop Hubbard: "It is with great joy this morning that we welcome Bishop-elect Scharfenberger."

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger took over the scandal-torn diocese in 2014. According to recent reports, seminarians are still confronted with liberal ideologues, homosexualists and canonical violations. Scharfenberger has been accused of lack of transparency and keeping an accused priest in active ministry.  With all this, Albany Catholics have suffered.

The state of New York has been racked with clerical scandals for decades. Much of the episcopal clean-up now with Pope Francis' Vos Estis could have been avoided had bishops obeyed Church directives not to ordain men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

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